Press "Enter" to skip to content

Activities around Ella

Esther 4

Last updated on 14th July 2019

Ella Rock

The massive mountain with its distinctive cut over its entire height near Ella is Ella Rock. It is also the highest mountain in this area. Climbing Ella Rock is easy and a must for everyone visiting Ella. So did we. It was on our bucket list for the very first day. It is a hike of about 5km  – 2,5h for us – we took our time to walk slow and take in the beautiful landscape around us. There are several ways leading to the path that finally climbs the mountain, all are similar in difficulty and length. We started walking along the railway tracks towards Kital Ella Railway Station and took a sharp left turn about 500m after that station, crossing a river, walking across rice fields and tea plantations and finally climbed the last more difficult part through the forest onto the top.

From the summit, roughly 1360m above sea level,  the stunning view made us forget all efforts. There was Little Adams Peak right in front of us surrounded by the mountainous landscape of the Sri Lankan Highlands. An old lady awaited us with refreshing drinks. I tried the pineapple juice, she mashes the fruit just with the strength of her hands, and it becomes a really tasty fruitful juice, just wonderful after the tiring climb. A little further along that path is another viewpoint with a Buddha statue. From there Ravana Falls can be seen. On the way back we took another route, it took the same time. 

Ella Rock Hike
Path leading away from the train tracks to Ella Rock
Ella Rock Hike
Rice fields on the way
Ella Rock Hike
Closer to the summit of Ella Rock the path leads through the forrest
Ella Rock Hike
The last bit of the path up to Ella rock is narrow and steep
Ella Rock Hike
On top of Ella Rock
Ella Rock Hike
The Buddha statue at the second view point
Ella Rock Hike
View from Ella rock in direction of Ravana Falls
Ella Rock Hike and Little Adams Peak
View onto Little Adams Peak halfway down the path
Ella Rock Hike
Descending on our way back home

Ravana Waterfall and Ravana Cave

Ravana Falls are  about 6km south of Ella on the main road.  Nearly every bus going south passes the falls. It is a very popular place among tourists and locals. And truly the falls are impressive. But very crowded too, guarded by the police to make sure that no one disobeys the rules. Those rules  were displayed on huge boards, saying that it is not allowed to climb up due to unfortunte deaths in recent years. So it is not possible to go up to the other levels and every one  dips their feet into the same pond next to the road. Also it says No Bikini, which gave the mortal blow to this destination. Indeed,  I realized there were only men in the water, and the women, fully dressed, only dipped their feet in the pool. 

Bus to Ravana Falls
Colourful public bus to Ravana Falls
Ravana Falls
Ravana Falls
Busy swimming pool at Ravana Falls
Monkey Family
Monkey Mum

Hence, we needed another place to swim and after consulting some locals we went for the Dragonfly Falls. Getting there takes a 20 min drive with a Tuk-Tuk. This place is less busy, the fall has  a few levels with little ponds, not deep enough for jumping but big enough for playing. And there were those little fish in the water that swim to the legs removing little particles from the skin. Actually that is very pleasant and a bit ticklish.

Dagonfly Falls
Lower pool of the Dragonfly Falls
Dagonfly Falls
Pool at the higher part of the Dragonfly Falls
Looking down the Dragonfly Falls

On the way back we stopped at Ravana Cave, curious to see that legendary place where King Ravana had hold Princess Sita captive.  There is a local shop in front of the stairs leading up to the cave. The man in that shop had taken responsibility to charge tourists 150 Rupees for the climb. The ascent is quite strenuous because the stairs are not in very good condition anymore and there are a lot of them. We finally arrived in a little hole in the rock that meant to be the cave: We could not go into it very much as it is rather small, the floor is slippery and it’s all dark. Disappointed we turned back. This place was not worth a single step.

Little Adams Peak & Nine Arch Bridge

The famous Nine Arch Bridge is only a 2km walk away from Ella towards east. We chose the jungle path for its natural beauty, starting left hand side of the B113 just behind the Forest Home Stay.  The times to visit the bridge are the times when there is a train crossing. When we arrived there shortly after 11:00 and waited, together with many other spectators, for the train at 11:50.

The construction of the bridge was completed  in 1923, it is about 90m long, bended and 25m high, arching over a  valley with a little stream below and tea plantations on one side and the cloud forest on the other side. This beautiful green surrounding and the graceful architecture of the bridge make it so much worthwhile to visit.

Jungle Path to 9 Arch Bridge
Jungle path towards the Nine Arch Bridge
Nine Arch Bridge
NIne Arch Bridge

After another 2km hike south from the bridge there is Little Adams Peak. As the sacred Adams Peak, this smaller version also has stairs leading up to the top, but far less. Half way up there is a Zip Line but we skipped it due to its pricing of 20$ per person. On top a Buddha statue awaits the dedicated wanderer, and besides that, a stunning view at the surrounding landscape including Ella Rock in the southwest. Apart from that, like on Ella rock, an old man waits for the thirsty and the tired to provide cool water and ice cream. It is a wonderful place to be, to spend time, to enjoy the wonderful view, feel the little breeze and relax. 

Little Adams Peak
On the way to Little Adams Peak: Tea plantations and a nice view to Ella Rock
Little Adams Peak
Up the stairs to Little Adams Peak
Little Adams Peak
On top of Littel Adams Peak looking at Ella Rock
Little Adams Peak
Little Adams Pek
Little Adams Peak
Getting rescued

Liptons Seat and Diyaluma Falls

Our wonderful host family from the Little Paradise suggested to visit Liptons Seat, and agreed to come with us for a day out. So all eight of us went in a big van the 30km south to see Lipton seat and the surrounding tea plantations and also to visit the tea factory. Our host father is a skilled Tuk-Tuk driver, hence he took us all the way up through impressive landscape of tea plantations on a narrow winding road to the highest point, 1431m above sea level. Obviously it was at this place it was, where Sir Thomas Lipton stood and decided to trade tea. The outlook is spectacular. It is certainly better in the morning, because when we arrived at about noon, we already had some of the daily haze hiding the more distant locations, but still impressive. There is a staute of Mr. Lipton sitting on a bench and a 360° outlook  with such an outstanding  view hat I thought it would allow to see the ocean in the south – but did not.  I think it is one of Sri Lankas most breathtaking views! We had a cup of excellent tea up there and could watch the tea pluckers working in the endless waves of the green ocean of tea leaves, breathing in a faint odour of the tea plants.

Lipton Seat
Tea plantations on the way up to Liptons Seat
Lipton Seat
Tea pluckers in an ocean of tea leaves
Lipton Seat
Tea plantations around Liptons Seat
Lipton Seat
Tea pluckers carry their bag tied around their heads
Lipton Seat
Sir Thomas Lipton
Lipton Seat
View from the 360° viewpoint onto Mr. Liptons seat
Lipton Seat
Stunning view from the 360° view point

The story tells that Sir Thomas Lipton visited Sri Lanka in the late 1800’s and fell in love with the beauty and freshness of the island. He got inspired by an unprecedented journey of tea in Sri Lanka and acquired his first estate, the Dambatenne estate. His business turned out to be very successful due to his legendary marketing innovations and revolutionized the accessibility of tea to everyone. Until today Lipton Tea sources their tea partly from this estate.

We visited the Dambatenne Tea Factory where we learned about the hard work of the tea pluckers and the art to create a huge variety of black and white tea. As it was Monday there was no production going on because people do not work on Sundays. So we were allowed to take pictures. The tea pluckers pick only the new and youngest leaves from the plant, put in big bags which they carry on their backs and tied around their heads. Each bag gets filled with 10kg of tea leaves, two of them are to be filled per day. The salary for this hard work is 750 Rupees, if they do more another 40 Rupees will be added per kilo. Tea pluckers are not only women but also men. When we were there the first bags full of freshly plucked tea leaves came in. Impressively, the factory has a very high standard of work ethics and is engaged in environmental protection and sustainable production.

Dambatenne Tea Factory
Dambatenne Tea Factory
Dambatenne Tea Factory
In the office of the Dambatenne Tea Factory
Dambatenne Tea Factory
Tea bags full of freshly harvested tea leaves waiting for being processed
Dambatenne Tea Factory
Machine to sort tea by its granularity
Dambatenne Tea Factory
One of many signs along the way displaying the tea company’s policy regarding the environment

To finalize the day we went to the impressive Diyaluma Falls. They are not far from Liptons seat but without the guidance of our host family we might not have found it. From the parking area it is quite some hike through the forest on a steep narrow path until the upper parts of the falls can be reached. But is is worth it, these falls were the best of all, an absolute highlight for fun, relaxation, refreshment and natural beauty.  The falls have different levels, the water has created a pond on each level that is big and deep enough to swim and even to jump into it from the level above. But be warned, the jump is dangerous as it needs the knowledge where it is deep enough to avoid ending up on a rock. Also, climbing up on the slippery rocks is not everyones cup of tea. But Diyaluma also has ponds with calm and shallow waters for less crazy people. The rushing waters have washed out the rocks creating interesting shapes until finally the water tumbles over the cliffs edge to fall endlessly into the deep. Diyaluma measures 220m and with that it is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka.

Diyaluma Falls
Diyaluma Falls upper pools
Diyaluma Falls
Diyaluma Falls upper pools
Diyaluma Falls
Someone climbing Diyaluma’s upper pools for a jump
Diyaluma Falls
Upper part of Diyaluma Falls
Diyaluma Falls
Diyaluma Falls just before falling into the deep valley
Diyaluma Falls
Diyaluma Falls from the bottom
  1. Monika Monika

    Hi Esther,
    thank you for these impressive reports and photos. Enjoy every minute of it. It all sounds absolutely exciting.
    Looking forward to read more… from wherever you will be by then…

  2. Esther Esther

    Thank you Monika, I am happy to hear that you enjoy reading. I will try my best to keep you updated on all adventures that might happen.

  3. Dzovig Harkian Dzovig Harkian

    Amazing! Thank you Esther, reading your words makes me feel truly living your adventure. Very nice photos too 👍😄

    • Esther Esther

      Thank you Dzovig,
      your feedback means a lot to me! I hope I could make my excitement somehow contagious so that you as my reader feel the urge to go and see the world too.
      Best, Esther

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap